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Work Values and Attitudes

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1 Work Values and Attitudes

2 Major topics: Work-related values (Hofstede, 1980)
Work ethics and attitudes Power and decision-making process Business communication style Status Case studies American, Chinese and German business values

3 Hofstede’s Work-related Value Dimensions
Cultural consequences: International differences in work-related values (1980) Large or small power distances Individualism or collectivism Masculinity or femininity Strong or weak uncertainty avoidance

4 Power Distances Power distance is an attempt to measure cultural attitudes about inequality in social relationships. It emphasizes the emotional and social distance between people who occupy different places in a hierarchy. Formalized rituals signaling respect, attentiveness and agreement High Power distance countries: the Philippines, Mexico, India, African and Latin American countries Low power distance countries: Australia, Denmark, European countries

5 Individualism and Collectivism
It measures the extent to which the interests of the individual are considered to be more important than the interests of the group. Rules and principles are impersonal and universal. (individualists) Decisions are made on the basis of relationships. They expect people who are involved in a group relationship to have duties and obligations to one another. (collectivists)

6 Individualists emphasize:
Concern for clarity, directness Truth telling, straight talk Meeting personal needs and goals rather than group Self-referent messages, more “I” than “we” More independent Linear pattern of conversation

7 Collectivist emphasize:
Indirect communication Concern for others’ feelings, avoiding hurting others, saving face Avoiding negative evaluation from a hearer Less goal direction More interdependent, group concerned Fewer linear patterns of conversation

8 Masculinity and femininity
It measures the extent to which everyone in a society embraces values that have traditionally been associated with men, that is assertiveness, competitiveness and toughness (Cf. modesty, cooperation and tenderness) Ambition, achievement and material success (Cf. catering for people and cooperation) Reward the strong (Cf. sympathy for the weak)

9 Masculine countries: Japan, Australia, Great Britain, Germany
Feminine countries: Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark

10 Uncertainty Avoidance
It measures the extent to which people in a particular society are able to tolerate the unknown of life. It also measures tolerance for ambiguity. Are the unknown and unfamiliar seen as threatening or is the unknown merely curious and perhaps even stimulating and interesting? Strong UA: Increase the number of rules of behavior to compensate for the uncertainty.(Greece, Japan, France) Weak UA: Seem comfortable dealing with diversity and ambiguity.(Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong)

11 American Work Ethics and Attitudes
Religion motivation: material success is a sign of God’s favor. Those who achieved success are among God’s “chosen” and would go to heaven. Achievement motivation: a strong value is placed on productiveness. This achievement orientation (or the tendency to “do” and “make”) results in part from American materialism, which is an outcome of the work ethic.

12 Chinese Work Ethics and Attitude
Chinese people view work as essential for having membership in a community. Work is necessary for them to gain social acceptance in the society. So Chinese work ethic is based on social pressure and community belonging. Now look at the handouts! Attitude toward work It’s just a saying

13 Power and Decision-making Process
Representatives or top management of American companies are empowered to make decisions. (efficient) Chinese decision-making process is generally slow and time-consuming, for it usually involves many people at different levels. (group decision)

14 Status Status exists in all societies but varies in fundamental ways. Cross cultural differences in the way in which we perceive status, gain status and react to status differ from culture to culture.

15 Ascribed-status refers to those cultures that base status upon external qualities such as age, wealth, education or gender. If one has the right external characteristics, status is ascribed to them. In such cultures there is little room for others to gain status through actions and achievements.

16 Achieved-status, as its title suggests, is earned
Achieved-status, as its title suggests, is earned. Internal qualities are valued more than external ones. Therefore, status is achieved through accomplishments such as hard work and contributions to a company or community. In such cultures status is malleable, in that it can be lost as quickly as it is gained and status can shift to other individuals.

17 Status and Hierarchy In ascribed-status cultures there tends to be rigid hierarchies that define roles, practices and processes. For example, employees will tend to focus solely on their own responsibilities and generally not offer suggestions to those above them in the hierarchy, as to do so would be disrespectful. In such organizations, change is very rarely bottom up.

18 In achieved-status cultures, hierarchies exist but are less formal
In achieved-status cultures, hierarchies exist but are less formal. The egalitarian nature of such cultures usually means that more value is placed on development and progression rather than respect for status. Consequently, lower level employees would generally feel empowered to make suggestions directly to seniors.

19 Status and Formality The formality of a culture is usually a good indication of the significance of status. The use of names between colleagues is one of the more observable manifestations of status in the workplace. In ascribed-status cultures colleagues will generally address each other using titles and surnames. Professionals, such as doctors, architects and lawyers, would expect to be addressed by their professional titles. First names are usually only used between family and friends.

20 In achieved-status cultures, people commonly use first names
In achieved-status cultures, people commonly use first names. This is because individuals will usually feel of equal worth with one another and see no need to demonstrate deference to a more senior ranked colleague.

21 Status and Management A manager in an achieved-status culture will usually take on the role of a mentor. The manager will be a reference point and will guide those under him/her to develop their skills and perform their duties with minimal guidance. Subordinates can and do challenge a manager’s decision.

22 In contrast, in ascribed-status cultures, the manager is expected to give orders and know all the answers. The manager is seen to be experienced, knowledgeable and able to deal with problems effectively. Rather than a mentor, the manager in such a culture takes on more of a parental role as he/she is expected to take care of employees by ascribing duties and overseeing how they handle them. Manager’s decisions are typically not challenged.

23 Status and Information
The flow of information between people in companies and organizations is another area affected by cross cultural differences in status. In cultures where status is achieved, information usually flows easily between ranks. Directly approaching a senior colleague of another department for consultation, advice or feedback will have a certain amount of protocol attached to it, but is commonplace.

24 Conversely, in achieved-status cultures information flow is a lot less fluid. There are only certain avenues one can take to either relay or gain information. For example, if the scenario mentioned above occurred in such a culture, the senior colleague would probably feel offended. In this circumstance, the correct protocol would be for the lower ranking colleague to approach his/her manager and ask them to approach the manager of the other department for information or feedback.

25 Business Communication Style
China’s process-oriented, relationship-based, harmony-focused (avoid confrontation), indirect communication American’s product-oriented, responsibility-based, honest confrontation, direct communication Case study: Business or Pleasure

26 Networking It’s not important what you know, but who you know.
(Asian countries)

27 American Managerial Values
achievement and success, belief in hard work, pragmatism, optimism, rationality, impersonality in interpersonal work relationships, equality of opportunity, acceptance of competition, and individualism

28 Chinese Business Values
Emphasize Kinship Interpersonal connections Respect for elders Hierarchy The Iron Rice Bowl mentality Expect lifelong employment and advancement according to seniority

29 German Business Values
Do not have a very strong concept of management Highly skilled and responsible workers A strong sense of pride in work

30 Saturday Shift Mr. Jones: It looks like we’re going to have to keep the production line running on Saturday. Mr. Wu: I see. Mr. Jones: Can you come in on Saturday? Mr. Wu: Yes. I think so. Mr. Jones: That’ll be a great help. Mr. Wu: Yes. Saturday’s a special day, did you know? Mr. Jones: How do you mean? Mr. Wu: It’s my son’s birthday. Mr. Jones: How nice. I hope you all enjoy it very much. Mr. Wu: Thank you. I appreciate your understanding.

31 A New Procedure Ms. Cooper: The new tracking procedure hasn’t worked, has it? Mr. Wong: There were some small problems. Ms. Cooper: Whose idea was it anyway? Mr. Wong: We need to learn from this lesson. Mr. Cooper: Yes. It came from Mr. Tung’s division, didn’t It? Mr.Wong: Many people worked on the proposal.

32 A Teacher in the United States:
Likes to help people to learn Dislikes low salary Has too much work to do at night Likes the stimulation of the other teachers Is intellectually stimulated

33 The Duncan Scale of Job Prestige
physicians, lawyers and judges, architects, aeronautical engineers, social scientists, natural scientists, salaried managers in manufacturing, authors, stock and bond salespeople, teachers, insurance agents and brokers, actors, librarians, athletes, clergymen, bank tellers, nurses, plumbers, bus drivers, bakers, automobile mechanics, members of the armed forces, waiters and waitresses, farmers, taxi-drivers, peddlers, manufacturing laborers, coal miners

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